Repeat after me: Dogs off leash. Dogs off leash. Dogs off leash.

I sent this to the company that manages my apartment complex:

I just came back from an errand and as I sloshed out of the car  (crutches, ya know), a guy came out with his dog off leash, and the dog  started coming over to me. He called the dog back, and it obeyed, but  he should have been on a leash. Once when Shirley and I were walking Callie, an off leash dog ran towards us barking, and not in a nice way.  His owner looked over at us, smiling, and said “He’s aggressive”. We keep telling people to keep their dogs on a leash, but they ignore us.

I had polio when I was 20 months old, so when I’m not on crutches, I wear a brace on my left leg that goes up to my hip. Because of this, I’m not so stable on my feet, and worry about dogs that run towards me.  In the summer of last year, I was knocked flat on my butt by a dog.  This resulted in a herniated disk which cost me around $2500 for surgery, not to mention excruciating pain for several weeks until the source of the problem was found (the disk was pushing on my sciatic nerve). I was bedridden for a week and on crutches for a month after  that. Imagine if a dog were to knock down 82 year old Aurelia, or 73 year old Serban, a nice Rumanian couple who live in my apartment complex. There goes a pelvis. I don’t want this to happen to them, to me (again), or to anyone else.

What can you do? Follow up on your threats. About a month ago, a flyer was put on our doors warning us that we may be fined for not having our dog on a leash or not picking up after them. When any employee here (or at any other apartment complex that you manage) is out and they see a dog off leash, warn them. Write down their apartment number and the date. Put it on a list for all of your employees to see. On a third offense within 30 days, fine them, just as they were warned.



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